Kwame Awuah Darko Biography || Early life and education
Kwame Awuah Darko was born in Accra. He is a native of the Ashanti kingdom and the Akyem Abuakwa State. Awuah-Darko is the third son of Nana Awuah-Darko Ampem I, the Nkosuohene of Asante Juaben traditional area in the Ashanti Region. He attended St. Peters School and Achimota School.
He holds B.A. Law (Hons) from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi and an MBA from the Henley Business School, Greenlands, United Kingdom.
Kwame Awuah-Darko is married to Nana Yaa Oteng with two sons. He has a third son with Delia Whigham.
Kwame is the cousin of Lord Paul Boateng of Akyem and Wembley, the late J.B Danquah Adu and Frank Adu Jnr, former Managing Director of Cal Bank. He is also brother to Daniel Awuah-Darko, Nana Awuah-Darko Ampem II and David Awuah-Darko.
He is the founder of Matrix Holdings International and Money Systems International, and the co-founder of Roman Ridge School. He served as Board Member of State Insurance Company (SIC) Limited as well as Board Chairman of the SIC Financial Services Limited respectively from 2009 to 2012.
In addition, Kwame served as Director and Board Member of City Investment Company Limited. He contributed to the establishment Commercial Bank, a financial institution in Ghana.
Awuah-Darko currently serves on the board of the Roman Ridge School which he co-founded.
In the year 1999, aged 30, he founded Matrix International Holdings Limited, U.K. As Managing Director of Matrix International Holdings U.K. Ltd, he oversaw the Company’s growth and operations in seven (7) European Union countries and eighteen (18) African countries rolled-out in West, East and Southern Africa with an annual turnover in excess of USD200 Million.
He managed Matrix Holdings concurrently with Marine and General Insurance Brokers.
In 2012, Kwame was elected to run for parliament as the candidate representing the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency under the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
In October 2013, he was appointed by the Government of Ghana to serve as the Managing Director of Ghana’s largest Petroleum Storage and Logistics Company, Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST).
He established a petroleum-trading department within the company, trading mainly petroleum products such as Gasoline, Gasoil, LPG and Crude Oil.
The government of Ghana in June 2015, appointed Kwame Awuah as the Chief Executive Officer of Ghana’s National Petroleum Refinery Asset, the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR).
In line with his vision of making Ghana the petroleum hub of West Africa, he assembled an highly efficient team within BOST and TOR who followed his leadership to successfully implement and oversee the trade of petroleum products across West Africa which included exports of gasoline and Gasoil to neighbouring countries such as, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Benin, Nigeria and Liberia among other countries.
Strategic Petroleum Reserve Program:
Awuah-Darko instituted the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Program and with his team managed to secure credit lines to import petroleum products from inception without any financial contribution from central Government.
BOST started importing its own products for the Strategic Reserve Program from February 4th, 2015 and by January 6th, 2017 BOST had imported over 52 cargoes of refined petroleum products and 17 cargoes of LPG, making a trade turnover of $1.6 bllion earning profit of up to $61 million, a feat never achieved in the company’s 24 years of existence.
Through this program BOST held Strategic Petroleum Reserve stock of up to 12 weeks of national petroleum consumption. Therefore, incase of an emergency Ghana had 12 weeks buffer of petroleum products.
Awuah-Darko led BOST in the acquisition of a strategic stake in the largest oil retail network across the country by acquiring 20% shares in GOIL to ensure the protection of the Ghanaian Taxpayer, making BOST the 3rd largest shareholder of GOIL.
On given the additional mandate of heading the Tema Oil Refinery, Awuah-Darko assisted in the revival of the Tema Oil Refinery after years of non-operability via BOST and imported up to 9 million barrels of crude oil stocks out of which 7 million barrels was refined by TOR during his tenure as CEO and leaving 2 million barrels in tank on his exit from TOR.
He also initiated and purchased the first indigenous crude the refinery produced from Ghana’s TEN fields. He ended his tenure at TOR in January 2017 leaving 205,279 metric tons of Petrol and Diesel as stock in-tank plus crude oil stock from then TEN fields.
Restoration of National Distribution Network:
Under Awuah-Darko’s leadership BOST was able to restore five (5) of its 6 (six) fuel depots from the state of non-operational and several years of delinquency, specifically the Accra Plains Depot (which was half-fit), Kumasi Depot, Buipe Depot, Akosombo Depot and the Bolgatanga Depot which was restored to begin product export into the Sahelian market such as Burkina Faso and Mali, a strategy which generated foreign exchange for the Country.
In addition, the longest pipeline in the BOST network of 271km from Buipe to Bolgatanga was re-commissioned to enable swift, easy and low-cost transmission of BOST products across the country, from the Southern part to the Northern part.
With the help of the Minister of Petroleum, Minister of Finance, National Petroleum Authority and other stake holders, they successfully implemented the petroleum pricing deregulation policy.
Awuah-Darko implemented an organizational restructuring exercise at BOST to introduce efficiency and motivation among working staff. As a result of expansion in BOST’s activities, he created jobs and grew the staff strength from 245 to 487. Subsequently, staff monthly payroll increased by 227%, from Ghs484,738 to Ghs2,135,240 between early 2014 to January 6th, 2017.
BOST Office Building:
Awuah-Darko commissioned a twin 10-storey office complex in Accra to curb the consistent overpriced office rent charges. The project was being financed by the Contractor who also owned the land, BOST was to take custody of the office complex upon completion and to be paid off from internal profits BOST was generating spread over a period.
On leaving both BOST and TOR on 6th January 2017, Awuah-Darko handed over strategic projects he initiated but were uncompleted, namely;
The Tema to Akosombo pipeline which was partly completed
BOST had started the process to automate all the depots across the country through an internally generated fund (IGF).
Awuah-Darko had secured funding of up to $600 million and commenced feasibility studies on a 150,000 metric ton storage facility to be constructed at Pumpuni near Takoradi.
Honours and awards
In 2017 Awuah-Darko was awarded the Oil and Gas Leadership Awards 2017 in recognition of his exemplary and flawless track record as head of Ghana’s Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST).
The Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology recognizing Awuah-Darko’s advocacy for the institutions cause named him Alumni of the Year in 2016.
The University of Ghana’s Student Representative Council (UGSRC) in 2013 awarded Awuah-Darko with their prestigious “Emerging National Leader of the year award.